4th February 2014

Don’t Just DO, BE! 

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”
Hebrews 2:1-3 (NKJV) 

I think human beings are programmed to need sunshine. There are certain people who suffer serious depression caused by what has become known as SAD—seasonal affective disorder.  Unfortunately, in this world we have millions of people who are SAD because they don’t know the God who created them—we might call it Spiritual Affective Disorder. Of course, thanks to modern teaching and science, they don’t know that they don’t know God. And what’s more, many if not most, don’t think they want to know God. 

That’s because they have been told that God is hard, unloving, demanding, requires total obedience without necessarily responding to what they might need. He is, in short, the exact opposite of what our society and civilisation thinks it needs. But then the Christian, the one who professes to know God, is often little better. Many Christians fall into a similar category where the God that they think they know is equally hard, unloving, demanding, requiring total obedience without necessarily responding to what these Christians need, or think they need. Other Christians, at the other end of the scale, feel that God is all love, and that’s all that’s required. God’s love is so all-encompassing that he couldn’t possibly demand anything from anyone. Strange isn’t it? And then many Christians vacillate between the two extremes; now seeing a God who all-loves them, and now seeing a God who demands all from them. 

The truth is far simpler. We are fast approaching the season which commemorates Christ’s sacrifice as God and man. His sacrifice of life and death earned him nothing more than he had had before with his Father, as he tells us. No, all that angst and pain was for our benefit. Our God gave his all for us, not simply to demonstrate once and for all his love for us, but also that he was willing to extricate us from our sinful nature. And, in addition, clearly demonstrates that it took a God to do it for us and with us. 

But then, having reconciled us, he does expect us to work with him and walk with him. And as Christians we ignore that calling at our peril. As the Bible tells us, how can we expect to escape, to be rewarded perversely rather than to be punished, if we neglect so great a salvation which was achieved at so great a cost. We are not only expected to do, we are expected to become or be. But even here our God will help us because he loves us so.

Magnificent Father, so often as human beings we jump from extreme to extreme. Yes, you love us, but yes, also, you are all righteous. Help us to rely on your love, but then, with your help, to change, to become more like you in word and deed. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford


johnstettafordAbout the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, 6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone:  01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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